Since I have been podcasting the main feedback and comments that come back from my audience (thank you all by the way) is that I am ‘brave’ for doing this. it seems almost a novelty that a relatively young man, I’m in my forties I know that’s not ‘young’ but I’m not a white haired professor type with crumbs scattered all over my jumper. That a guy in good shape, got some looks about him is taking the time to actually tell his story, trying to bridge that gap that us men seem to create when it comes to honestly expressing our feelings. Obviously I haven’t always been this open and honest about my feelings, my emotions and what was going on in my head. Well, that might not be obvious but it is true. I was a bottler, not really for the fear of upsetting anyone but maybe for reasons leaning towards not arguing and for not hearing things I didn’t want to hear. If you’re not fully emotionally developed then hearing negative things about yourself can hurt and as men, we bury. We don’t show that things have affected us. Maybe that’s the prehistoric, primal caveman that remains. A small underdeveloped brain unable to express itself clearly.
To tap into that maturity unfortunately you have to grow up which more than likely will involve some hardship or heartbreak. This is why you’ll see those blokes bawling their eyes out after a few too many, the guard has come down, the alpha male projection has slipped.
Protecting yourself from hurt is a natural thing but as I have learnt, you can spend so long trying to keep yourself out of harms way, building complex barriers in the hope that no-one cold possibly navigate through them and find the gentle, raw and pure emotions and feelings buried within. They do though, people come along and knock you for six and you’ve let them in without even knowing. I used to be horrific at expressing my feelings and all that ended up doing was branding me as intense, not cold an unapproachable but looking back there was some swerving movements made to avoid dealing with me. Not the nicest way to be thought of. Working so hard to protect yourself from hurt is actually counter productive. You have to put yourself out there. You have to take a deep breath and say “Ok, I understand that I could get hurt here but I deserve to be myself, this person deserves me at myself”. Where can we really expect a relationship to travel to if one party feels like they aren’t getting someone’s full soul?
Weaknesses aren’t an invitation for people to come along and destroy us. It’s us standing up as a human being and saying that this is you, who you are and holding nothing back. As with anything in life, be that work, love, relationships, friendships, it’s all energy. The energy we put out is what will find it’s way back to us, that’s not a trick. That’s just how the universe works.
To be honest is the strongest you can be, it’s the greatest strength you can yield. Besides, liars always either mess up or get found out. So come on fellas, we don’t have to lie about our feelings, or hide them. We don’t have to seem them as a weakness. The amount of women I have spoken to that say it so refreshing hearing a man talking openly about his feelings. Yes, this is the further end of the scale by me laying myself bare and putting it out there for all to learn but I knew good would come from it, I knew people, men and women would understand and relate to it. Sometimes it might take a heartbroken fool and his journey to provoke an idea or notion that in maybe sharing what I have experienced and been through, maybe that could act as a catalyst to a more open channel of communication where anyone going through something in their lives could tap into and realize they aren’t alone. To see what I am trying to do, in that sharing my mistakes, my journey although unique to me is not unique to the world.
To deal with things at an honest an open emotional level, to convey what you are thinking when you are thinking it and to make that process involuntary. It is very liberating.
In my podcasts I refer to someone quite frequently, someone I love dearly and is the most brutally honest person I have ever met. No-one gets a filtered version, it’s direct honest on tap and it is incredible, no grey areas. If I ask her something, some advice or her opinion she will always full stop it with ‘well if you didn’t want to hear that you should have asked someone else’. No middle ground, cold hard facts. Just how it should be.
What would it feel like if you put your journey out there? Letting other people know they weren’t alone, sharing lessons you have to learn and what path you’ve traveled. The saying is knowledge is power, but maybe the power is in helping others with that knowledge. We have all at some point and maybe not just the once. Can there be an upper limit to the power of sharing and being honest with who we are? I don’t think so, the more people that can be inspired to open up about how they are feeling will only create a domino effect. It always comes back to positive energy and if the motivation for that positive energy is to help the healing then quite honestly someone break me over and over again as I will do what I can to help, guide and listen.
It’s our feelings that we use to navigate our way through life. Someone close to me once said that and I didn’t really understand it then but it is so simple. People react to what they have to work with, give them stress or pressure and you no doubt will provoke responses tainted in the same. So if you are in tune with your emotions, if you are at ease with expressing them then it will amplify. Looking back, that same person taught me a lot about emotions and expressing them. I do believed I failed miserably there too but as with it all a lesson was learned.
I think honesty about who we are and how you feel brings about a certain freedom. To be confident enough in the moment to react honestly, it has a purity to it. Put yourself out there in the world as you are, don’t hide or obscure any part of you, not from anyone especially yourself. Discover how more responsive people are to you when they can feel they are getting all of you. It’s not a trick, it’s just sitting back in the comfort of being yourself. Nowadays if someone asks me how I am, how my day was I don’t go to a template that they expect to hear, if I had a rubbish day then I’ll say that but finish it with a positive remark.
As with everything body and mind it is all built from experience and confidence. Both of those will generally come with a price tag of a learning curve but will ultimately put you on the pathway to a better place, an honest place.